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Road infrastructure Cabinet moots increase in petrol tax

Road transport has increased fivefold in Switzerland over the past 50 years taking its toll on infrastructure  

(Keystone)

The government has approved controversial plans to increase petrol and diesel prices to finance the maintenance of the country’s road infrastructure. 

In its bill to parliament, the transport ministry proposed an increase from CHF0.30 per litre to CHF0.36 from 2018 to be fed into a new road transport fund. 

The government initially proposed a hike to CHF0.45 per litre but faced opposition from pressure groups, notably road hauliers, motoring associations and the political right. 

“Switzerland would remain cheaper than its neighbouring countries,” argued Transport Minister Doris Leuthard last September. 

Road transport has quintupled over the past 50 years in Switzerland, pushing up the costs for the maintenance of infrastructure of motorways and roads in urban regions, according to a statement by the Federal Road Authorities. 

The government proposal has been widely dismissed as unnecessary, too tame or as a missed opportunity to consider road pricing as part of a review of the country’s transport policy. 

Voters will have the final say on the establishment of the road fund at a later date. 

Last year, voters approved a constitutional amendment to adapt the financing system of the rail infrastructure.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch


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